Economy
Indian government's health, education spend declines over 2 years
The money allocated for key centrally sponsored social schemes — Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA or universal education programme) and National Health Mission — has declined 10 percent, 7.5 percent and 3.6 percent over two years.
 
Over the same period, he money set aside for the Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission) increased almost three times.
 
The ICDS, SSA and the National Health Mission were carried over from the previous government. The Clean India Mission was started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
The cut in social-welfare funding is part of on-going devolution reforms aimed at giving states more money without spending conditions imposed from Delhi.
 
The states, however, could not match central funding, IndiaSpend reported in February, using the latest data available, from two years ago.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government cut funding for centrally sponsored schemes 19 percent last year, and the trend continued this year in budget announcements.
 
While funding for NHM and SSA increased two percent over last year, it is lower than what it was before that.
 
There was a 55 percent increase in tax money transferred to the states unconditionally, as IndiaSpend reported, based on a study by Accountability Initiative, a New Delhi-based think tank. But some states got less money than before devolution transfers.
 
Funding cuts aggravated by slow release of money
 
The 12th Five Year Plan allocated Rs.123,580 crore to ICDS. However, up to financial year 2016-17, the last year of the plan, the central government allocated only 63 percent of the planned ICDS budget.
 
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) allocation in financial year 2015-16 was only 79 percent of the larger National Health Mission, of which NRHM is a part.
 
The central government provided 57 percent of the allocated SSA budget till September 2015. Of the statesÂ’ share, no more than 27 percent, on average, had been released by September 2015.
 
Slow release of money and funding cuts has led to implementation problems, according to Accountability Initiative budget briefs.
 
Money has been cut for ICDS, the worldÂ’s largest programme for maternal and child care, at a time when 42 perccent of children are underweight and 40 percent are below average height in India, IndiaSpend reported.
 
The budget of the National Nutrition Mission to combat child malnourishment was Rs.850 crore, doubling from 2015-16. This Mission supplements the ICDS.
 
Data from the first round of National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS 4) of 13 states and union territories reveals improvement in maternal and child health, IndiaSpend reported. Data from the most backward states of India such as Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh has not yet been released.
 
Only 1 percent of Swachh Bharat Mission money spent on changing attitudes
 
As much as 97 percent of money spent on the Swachh Bharat Mission between April 2015 and February 2016 was on construction of individual household latrines, according to the Accountability Initiative study.
 
Information, education and communication for sanitation and hygiene accounted for 1 percent of expenditure, a three percentage point drop from 2014-15. Changing attitudes is a critical need, as IndiaSpend reported, in an investigation of the prime ministerÂ’s claim that toilets had been built for girls in every school.
 
Over the last two years, less than half of eligible households that applied for a toilet-construction grant actually received it, according to Accountability InitiativeÂ’s district survey.
 
Only 23 percent of money for education actually spent
 
No more than 23 percent of the money approved for the universal education programme was spent till September 2015.
 
As many as 31 percent of schools surveyed by Accountability Initiative across 10 districts in five states had not received their annual grants till December 2015.
 
The quality of elementary education has been declining in India, as IndiaSpend reported.
 
Only a fourth of all children in standard III could read a standard II text fluently, a drop of more than 5 percent over five years, according to the 2014 Annual Status Report on Education.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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IDBI Bank’s Bad Loan Mystery
Can the Bank employees shirk the responsibility of bad loans
 
Ten years ago, IDBI Bank was allowed to clean up its books by transferring bad loans worth Rs9,000 crore to a stressed assets stabilisation fund. But, since then, the Bank’s reckless advances and continued mischief has brought it to a point where bad loans have risen to a massive Rs18,000 crore again. Ironically, the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has opposed IDBI’s privatisation on the grounds that most of these bad loans were extended to private business. 
 
It is time AIBEA shows some economic and financial sense. The market valuations of private banks are significantly higher than those of PSBs while their bad loan portfolios are relatively small. Private banks are under shareholder scrutiny while PSBs are being abused by politicians. Privatisation and stock options may be a better deal for PSB employees and also for taxpayers. More importantly, unions can no longer claim innocence or distance themselves from bad banking decisions. AIBEA, as the largest union, has workmen directors on the boards of most banks. Surely, their job is to protect the interests of banks by paying attention to poor lending decisions too. It is time we start asking nominees of RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and trade unions on bank boards what they had done to prevent bad lending decisions. Did they write dissent notes? If not, why should they not be held equally accountable?
 
Among the officials who are under CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) scrutiny is Yogesh Agarwal, who went on to head the Pension Fund Regulatory Authority of India (PFRDA), soon after the Rs900 crore loan to KA was pushed through. Even at PFRDA, Mr Agarwal set about undoing the structure of the New Pensions System (NPS), whose main flaw, until then, was the failure to recognise the need to incentivise distributors. When will we begin to hold people in power responsible for the damage they do to the system with their collusion, connivance, corruption or silence? Each of the entities mentioned above has contributed to the massive bad loans estimated at around Rs8 lakh crore by the government. 
 
At Moneylife, we are aware of several smaller bank unions that do act as whistleblowers and aggressively protect banks’ interests. The Corporation Bank Officers Union and Dhanalaxmi Bank’s Union are two that come to mind along with the Subhash Sawant-led The Indian National Bank Employees’ Federation at the Central Bank of India. Interestingly, Mr Sawant has filed litigation in his effort to make the Bank’s chairman and executive directors more accountable for bad lending; but his effort finds little support even from RBI. Worse, in a vindictive action for trying to highlight the bad loan issue, the Central Bank’s management has even tried to freeze his retirement benefits. If whistleblowers who are trade union leaders face such pressure, one can only imagine how any dissent by lone officials is crushed by banks. 
 
(Corrected: Corporation Bank Officers Union) 

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COMMENTS

PRAKASH D N

11 months ago

Bank Unions do have a responsibility to protect their Bank especially when they have a representation on the Board. But most of the times, it is observed that the representative Director does not discharge his role and become a mute spectator for getting benefits from the Management and claim that he has got something for his constituency. Wherever, the union representatives are alert and effective, they can definitely stop the excesses by at least noting his dissent and get it recorded. But it is learnt that the Board decisions are not recorded unless the Director has the guts to get it recorded.

There is a need for strengthening the protection to whistle blowers especially when the top Management and the political class join to stifle the dissenting voice (eg. Central Bank as mentioned).

D N PRAKASH,
RETD BANK MANAGER

Manoj Bhatt

11 months ago

I am from a small town and have an account with IDBI Bank apart from HDFC Bank and SBI Bank. What i liked about IDBI was that they had the professionalism of a private sector bank at the cost of (charges) a public sector bank. It is unfortunate that such a young bank has to face such untimely sickness due to the flagrant management of its top brass. I fail to understand why Union Leaders and also the Political class want to serve their own interest in the name of common man.PSBs officials are a nightmare when a common man goes for a loan and demand their share of booty to facilitate the loan. But the story is all together different when they enjoy the evening cocktail with a businessman only to obligate him the very next day in the bank. What these officials learn at the mofussil level they replicate at the Board level for very few of them could learn to stand up due to their underdeveloped spines.

Mohan Damodaran

11 months ago

Over a year ago I had tweeted how there was something rotten there in IDBI.However still I don't think privatization is the only solution.

Devidas Tuljapurkar

11 months ago

Bank employees are opposed to privatization of public sector banks as also opening up of new private sector banks not in their own interest but to safe guard common mans savings. There is empirical evidence for this argument. Even in recent global financial crisis US, UK had to resort to bail out. What it means? This is world wide phenomenon and not isolated. In India also we have experienced this on many occasions. This does not mean that in PSB everything is all right or we are defending wrong doings. We are for CHANGE but not to kill the institution itself. We are in favor of changes which aim at further customer orientation. We are prepared to amend our-self also.We are prepared to introspect also. We are open but with some logic and rational based on empirical evidence and not to appease anybody. Hope we will be understood in proper perspective. Devidas Tuljapurkar

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Devidas Tuljapurkar 11 months ago


Mr Tuljapurkar

The common man is being RIPPED OFF by public sector banks through A) HIGH ATM CHARGES, b) high transaction charges c) being tagged as defaulter for tiny loans and harassed e) low interest on savings accounts f) high cost of even electronic transactions and safety SMS messages which started FREE.

All these charges are levied under lobbying by private banks. PSU banks remain mute spectators. SBI is the first to agree to higher charges becuase it is the common man who shores up their bottom line.

PLUS -- far from protecting the common man's interest, bank unions by blind opposition are doing damage to all of us.
All are happy with the recapitalisation of banks to make good losses of wilful defaulters.
Over Rs10,000 crores is used for recapitalisation almost every year -- this is more than the entire annual budget of several ministries!! Where has the UNION ever protested?
What about the case of UBI, where action has been initiated against Mr Narang for going after wilful defaulters? Where is AIBEA in supporting him?? Read ET today.

YOUR UNION LED BY MR UTAGI had promised to join our fight about charges imposed on ordinary people. We got no support.
I personally requested Mr Venkatachalam for help since a case was filed in the Madras High Court. Silence. In fact I got a copy of the plaint myself. As a small NGO we did not have the resources to file the case, even though a draft is ready.

I find it HUGELY IRONIC THAT AIBEA IS PICKING UP A FIGHT WITH Moneylife, rather than with the government.

I think you need to understand things in perspective.

PPM

In Reply to Sucheta Dalal 11 months ago

AIBEA is worried about only the Salaries, perks and retirement benefits and they do not know who the common man is!!!

C H VENKATACHALAM

11 months ago

the beauty of democracy is that any body can have any view without knowing the facts and still make comments or write articles. If privatisation of IDBI Bank will ensure recovery of all bad loans, we will re-examine our stand. AIBEA

REPLY

Chandragupta Acharya

In Reply to C H VENKATACHALAM 11 months ago

Such a caustic reply from AIBEA is not appreciated. If there are error of facts or differences of opinions, one may clearly state so, and argue on the merits of the case. As a common man, I do see merit in what has been written. Can you deny that bank unions, ever eager to oppose progressive reforms and demand salary hikes, have been mute spectator to this loot of taxpayer money?

C H VENKATACHALAM

In Reply to Chandragupta Acharya 11 months ago

i am sorry you do not know what we are doing.

PPM

In Reply to C H VENKATACHALAM 11 months ago

Sure, we do not know what you do as AIBEA is only interested in getting increase in salaries, perks & retirement benefits and interest free loans for the members.

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to C H VENKATACHALAM 11 months ago

That is funny Mr Venkatachalam. You have not found me a "anybody" when AIBEA invited to speak at your conferences or circulated my articles.

A good trade union leader must be open to all points of view -- not praise a journalist only when your view co-incide with mine.
Also, isnt a reasoned response far better? Let us have a open debate on this !! Moneylife Foundation will host it.
We , the consumers are the LARGEST stakeholders -- our problem is that we are not united and organised like the large trade unions.
Isnt it time bankers, policy makers and trade unions paid some attention to the customer and customer -needs too?

Lets try and do that for a change and IN NATIONAL INTEREST!!

C H VENKATACHALAM

In Reply to Sucheta Dalal 11 months ago

Madam you know my special regards and high respect for you. We will continue to invite you to our platform to share your valuable views. We will circulate your views on idbi also to our members. No issue. We will welcome an open debate also. But some of your remarks in the article are hurting us as they are not true. Hope you will understand us better. Thanks and regards. CHV AIBEA

P b Sarma

11 months ago

The subtle crushing of honest dissent and encouragement of yes men who are inefficient and dishonest ,is the root cause of NPAs.Promotions are given to only these who reach targets by fair or foul means and quality of work is totally forgotten.In the process only officers with dubious records got promotions.The rest is history.

Ravindra Shetye

11 months ago

The loans are afterall sanctioned by a set of the Bank Employees and they must be held fully responsible for the loan default. In fact the defaulted loan files must be opened to see who were the persons responsible for the sanction of the loan and whether they followed the standard procedures laid down.

REPLY

PPM

In Reply to Ravindra Shetye 11 months ago

Yes, Let all the NPA files be scanned and uploaded in the bank's website for the customers to see.

B. Yerram Raju

11 months ago

Privatisation is no solution to such banks. They should only be wound up in the interest of the society and tax payer.

I have been untiringly asking for fixing the responsibility of directors of boards for the malaise of the banks in credit origination - group loaning decision that conveniently gives a long rope for irresponsible and non-transparent decisions -, risk management and NPA reviews of accounts larger than Rs.5crores.
Mrs Dalal has done justice by raising the question of workmen and officer directors' responsibilities.
They raise their voices only when any disciplinary action on employees' is taken up at the Board level as they think that they represent only employee constituency.
They seem to think that taking up issues relating to the health of the bank makes them unhealthy.

REPLY

P b Sarma

In Reply to B. Yerram Raju 11 months ago

Private banks also became bankrupt.But the culprits are not punished.They are taken over by PSBs and the loss was borne by PSBs and indirectly by public at large.Tomorrow if a private bank becomes bankrupt who will take over that bank when all are privatised.If it is not taken over public suffer and lose all their hard earned savings.

Ramesh Poapt

11 months ago

idbi bank should have securities of land bank of trillion of rupees of borrowers being erstwhile idbi. what about its valuation and selling that?

REPLY

PPM

In Reply to Ramesh Poapt 11 months ago

Good idea and as you aware, most of the NPA linked land has NIL value or not even cover the recovery cost.

O B DHOOT

11 months ago

Even RBI protects the their own officials who are involved in corrupt practices and punish those who raises their voice against them.

sohan modak

11 months ago

Good anaysis.Why then was IDBI allowed to acquire prosperous, although contentious, bank like United Western Bank? UWB had a psitive balance sheet and IDBI just plain ate it all up.

Shankar Bharadhwaj

11 months ago

I filly agree with the article , it now the lid is blown off evry one fiengs ignorance, lets face it , Banks do not want to solve any issue even if you bring it to their notice,have come across instances when informed to banks with proof they chose to remain quiet, then even find fault with the person who gave the info and in some cases informed the promoters .

Ranjit

11 months ago

Attach properties of responsible authorities who sanction loans alongwith the businessmen irrespective of his/her political alignment ,that could not be recovered and put them in JAIL. Relevantly,
RANJIT SINHA's properties, by now should have been attached and his retirement benefits should have been curbed.

vnrao

11 months ago

coverting IDBI into bank to save sinking lending institution is a big mistake of UPA IDBI is habituated to lend money on politican connection.Though it is bank beyond capacity lend it to all infra companies it better to investigate punish the executives who also took benifits made bank a sick organisation

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

11 months ago

All are part and parcel of the Scams including RBI officials who have failed as Regulatory authority.

Google Maps to make navigation easy in Metros
New Delhi : In a bid to make navigation around big cities easy, search engine giant Google on Wednesday updated its Google Maps app that now shows a dedicated tab with information for cab services in addition to the existing driving, public transport or walking options.
 
So next time when you leave work to meet a friend for dinner or to meet a client in a new city, you will be able to compare all the commuting options right within the Google Maps app, the company said in a statement.
 
The app also supports Uber or Ola cab services in major cities in India. 
 
If a user has a provider's app installed, he or she can see the fare estimates and pick up times. Uber users will be able to choose from uberGO and uberX services while Ola customers can choose from Ola Mini, Ola Micro and Ola Sedan options.
 
After selection of the service, the app directly takes the user to the Uber or Ola app for requesting a ride with one tap. 
 
The new feature has been rolled out for Android devices and will be available on iOS devices soon.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

varun teja k

11 months ago

Yes it is true, google maps to make navigation easy in metros. and so many e-commerce delivery boys used Google maps.one of the food delivery site http://savecoupons.in/store/swiggy/">swiggy used this service.

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